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Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Specialty at a Glance

Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) is a pediatric subspecialty that combines neurology, development and behavior. NDD training prepares physicians to diagnose, treat and counsel children and adults with a wide variety of neurodevelopmental and behavioral challenges. Physicians work in an interdisciplinary model of care with a diverse team of professionals like therapists, rehabilitation specialists and educators.

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  • Why should a student choose the neurodevelopmental disabilities specialty?

    Neurodevelopmental disabilities training allows physicians to specialize in neurodevelopmental pediatrics, child neurology and developmental-behavioral pediatrics at the highest level and in many different settings. NDD physicians provide outpatient and inpatient care. Many are active in research, education and advocacy beyond clinical care opportunities. There are many exciting recent developments allowing for improved care of our patients.

  • Are there things students should be doing in Phase 1 ( year 1 and 2) to prepare?

    Intense training in neurosciences is important for those interested in NDD training. Pediatrics and neurology student interest groups are also good opportunities.

  • What electives are recommended for students pursuing neurodevelopmental disabilities?

    There is a NDD honors elective that can be done in year 4. Other recommended electives are developmental pediatrics, medical genetics, ethics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and child psychiatry.

  • What sub-Is are recommended for students pursuing neurodevelopmental disabilities?

    Pediatrics sub-I, specifically on the complex care seervice, is recommended.

  • Is an away rotation recommended in NDD?

    While not necessary, it can be helpful to rotate in another center offering NDD training

  • How important is research? Does it have to be specialty specific?

    Research is not necessary though will make an applicant stronger when applying to NDD residency.

  • How long is neurodevelopmental disabilities residency training?

    NDD requires six years of training, including two years of general pediatrics, one year of adult neurology, 18 months of clinical child neurology and developmental medicine, and 18 months of basic clinical science training.

  • Are there any specialty-specific recommendations regarding letters of recommendation?

    Obtaining a letter from an NDD trained physician is recommended. Strong letters can also come from pediatricians, child neurologists, adult neurologists and child psychiatrists. It is most important that letter writers know you well and can provide a strong letter.

  • What are some useful resources for students considering NDD?
  • How does career mentoring at the IU School of Medicine work in this specialty?

    IU School of Medicine has several active NDD trained physicians happy to engage with interested medical students. This can range from single to multiple conversations and scholarship projects.